Hike to the summit of this active, Guatemala volcano.

The hike up to the summit of the Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala is a great solution if you're looking for the thrill of a hike on an active volcano, without the exertion of some of the other volcano summits in the region. It is an easier trip along mostly flat, well maintained trails that only takes a few hours - a great option for a half day excursion from nearby Antigua.

The hike starts through dense forest, eventually reaching the moonlike scenery of volcanic gravel and dust. You may be confused by the local children trying to sell you marshmallows and hot dogs on the way up the mountain, but you'll be pretty bummed if you don't buy some once you see others roasting their snacks over lava hot spots.

As with many volcano excursions in Central America, the best way to experience this trip is by booking a guide with one of the local outfitters. They are super experienced, knowledgable, friendly, and fun. OX Expeditions is a really great option and provide tours throughout the day.

Photos: Wojtek Ogrodowczyk, Jesmar Bilocca, Lauren, Bethany and Kyle

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Water
  • Marshmallows and hot dogs
Show More
RT Distance 3.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 1000 Feet
Activities Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Absolute Must Do!

My boyfriend and I did this hike in the June 2017 and we absolutely loved it. We weren’t in the best of shape and this hike was one of our first hikes together. The day that we went was quite humid and foggy but the views were still amazing. A lot of the trail seems like you’re heading straight up and it really worked the leg muscles but the guide was very conscientious of stopping or slowing down for people who were having a hard time. We had the choice of taking a “short cut” which our guide deemed appropriate because there were 3 other people who were struggling. You do share the path with horses if some people decided to ride up the volcano so some parts of the trail were in rougher shape than others. However, I would definitely recommend this trail if you have the time!

Had the pleasure of doing this hike with an old geologist I was traveling with. About 3/4 of the way up, after seeing debris being thrown from the summit we were inching towards, I asked for his professional assessment of the situation. His response: "You know boy, you just never know when these things are gonna blow." He then turned towards the summit and we pushed on...


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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